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I know that the current programs of deer management have resulted in numbers of deer on any given property to improve and therefore improving the number of bucks seen. That's a mathematicalthing.I also acknowledge the average size of bucks have improved also.
Here's the dilemma I see. It seems to me that it's only averaged out the size of mature bucks instead of growing the huge racks everyone is trying to grow.
In my experience the sizes aren't improving as much as numbers of bucks seen. I know there are many big racks out there, but I have to say that there werebig racks out there before these "programs" became the latest fad in deer hunting, albeit only in small corners of our hunting world . Maybe I'mjust not seeing the whole picture.
QDM practices have been around for over a decade now. I would expect that all that hard work would be paying off more in records being broken more often. Think about it, over a decade of management. Probably closer to two decades. Where's all the 4-6 year old record bucks? That always seems to be the MAGIC years.
It seems the records that were set years ago across the country before all the management started, were from non managed deer herds. I know this is a broad statement with no research, but in our local area,(Mid to South AL and NWF) it seems there should be some dividends paying off more than there are.I'm just wondering if the management practices aren't hurting in the long run somehow. I just feel there should be more sho'nuff record breaking bucks taken after all of this work in the different practices of deer herd management. I mean look at the money and time spent on feed and supplements, plots etc. It'sjust a little odd to me.

Now before anybody gets their panties wadded up, I'm not condemning any programs, I just wanna know why there aren't records being broken more often if everyone is growing horns the way we're told to do. Maybe nature should be left to what it does best?...............I dunno.
 

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I understand your concern on this matter. I was managing a club for 12 years and quite often had the same type thoughts. I was told by the biologist to kill more does each year to help the bucks acheive more growth in body weight and rack size. This is what happened we did have larger body deer but the racks did not increase much. We harvested deer with almost no difference in rack sizes(genetics) . When we did harvest old bucks they just did not have the monster buck stuff we expected. We were very much up on recording all deer harvested. In short this is what we personally concluded: balance the herd, feed with plots and fertilize the natural browse helped the most. You can not immprove genetics they have what they have. I do believe in taking cull bucks that have deformed horns so they will not be breeding. The problem of doing that are they may be good bucks that have been injured so the racks are inferior. Spring plots are the most important along with supplimental feeding can make some difference. But some of it is commerecial hype(money) but you have to try. I have just about as much fun trying to improve the herd as harvesting them. That's just me. Trail cams tell the tale.
 

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If we are speaking of Alabamaour PROGRAM is a joke. It takes 3 things to grow a real trophy deer. Genetics, food & age. Our genetics statewide aren't the best but with the proper food and age it can happen. The problem is much of the State has been made pine plantations and Cotton fields, also the number of deer on the property are too many. Even if you hammer the does the lack of protein rich food and soil are lacking. If you have hogs you even have less food for the deer. What the State should have done first was make a point requirement like surrounding States, maybe cut back from 1 buck a day to something else but allowing 3 which most can be buttonheads is crazy. I am blessed to hunt the Midwest each year and most of the States are bow only during the rut so I get to itch the itch. There should also be a split season in Alabama so everyone in the State gets to hunt the rut.
 
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